stp_oldchurch_history[1]A forty minute scenic drive from Ocean Point Inn will bring you to the charming coastal village of Damariscotta Maine.  The town of Newcastle is just before you cross the bridge into Damariscotta and is home to the oldest Catholic Church in New England.  This beautiful worship site is open to the public for viewing.

Further up the Damariscotta River is the Damariscotta Mills Fishladder Restoration.  This is a must see!!  The ladder helps the alewife run go from the river up the hill to the Damariscotta Lake to spawn. If you are a quilter or love fabric, be sure to visit the Alewives Fabric Store in Damariscotta Mills.  I love the fact that the interior of the store is like a giant rainbow with all the bolts of fabric arranged by color.  They are open seven days a week year round.

When you cross over the bridge into Damariscotta take a right into the town parking lot.  You can always get a place to park there!  The Maine Coast Book Shop and Café is a first class book store with an attached café for a delicious treat.  They carry an excellent selection of adult and child books, magazines and newspapers.

If you want a trip down memory lane, across the street from thee on Main Street  the book store is Waltz’s Soda Fountain, an authentic old soda fountain. Just liAccessory shopke 50 – 60 years ago.

The Weatherbird  at 132 Main Street has wonderful clothes and accessories for women.  The Weatherbird at 72 Court Street carries specialty foods and kitchenware.  The Accessories Shop on Main Street has unique gifts for your home and cottage.  The shop carries lots of sea related items.  Behind and under the Weatherbird shop on Court Street is the Damariscotta Pottery which makes spectacular pieces of pottery in all sizes and shapes.

Teci_summer_SMDamariscotta River Cruises will take you on a 50 foot River Tripper to see osprey, seals, bald eagles and seven oyster farms as you cruise down the river and back.

 King Eider’s Pub and the Damariscotta Bar and Grill both serve a nice variety of meals using local ingredients and presented with flair.  The staff in both restaurants are very friendly.  Reservations are recommended in both places. These are only highlights of shops, restaurants and places to visit.  Explore and find your own favorites as well.

Enjoy your days in the Boothbay Harbor Region while staying at Ocean Point Inn. See our other day trips to Boothbay, Bath, Camden and Rockland, and Monhegan Island.

Maine- the way life should be!

Common Eiders

The Common Eider Ducks have caught my attention lately as one Eider hen has three ducklings that she brings to the cove next to Ocean Point Inn to swim and feed.  This is the first time I have seen Eider ducklings at Ocean Point.  Not long ago the Common Eider was rarely seen, since it was hunted for its meat and eggs to near extinction in the 19th century.  Even though stricter laws to protect the Eider were enacted in the 20th century, the Eider population continued to diminish.  In 1930 Allan Moses, a taxidermist, convinced J. Sterling Rockefeller to buy Kent Island which had a large colony of nesting Eiders.  Six years later Rockefeller sold the island to Bowdoin College for $1.00 and they continue to do extensive research there.  Their very special down, one of the lightest and best insulators in the world, also helped save them.

Male Common Eider

Male Common Eider

The current population of Eider in Maine is stable  The species found along the Maine coast is similar to the ones found in the Arctic.

It is interesting that the Eiders only lay 3 – 5 eggs in their down lined nest compared to the local Mallard Ducks that lay 10-12 eggs.  The Eider ducklings are dark brown all over.  They eat crustaceans and mollusks so the little ducklings start diving right off.  They are amazing to watch.  The hen takes care of them and the males swim around in the area.  One day I watched the Eider hen try to have her three ducklings join a Mallard hen and her brood of nine.  The Mallard pecked at the Eider and pushed her ducklings away.  She would not let the Eider ducklings feed near her ducklings.

Here at the Ocean Point Innducks3 we are trying to protect the Mallard Ducks in the pond by asking our guests not to feed them.  The ducks become accustomed to being fed and do not fly south  in the fall.  There is no food for them here in the winter and they cannot survive. Please help us protect them!

Eider hen chasing the Mallard ducklings away.

Eider hen chasing the Mallard ducklings away.

lobster-boat-sunAn easy day trip from Ocean Point Inn is the area around and including Bath Maine – originally called Sagadahoc by the Abenaki Indians. Sagadahoc meant “mouth of big river” which is very appropriate as it is on the Kennebec River just north of the mouth. Samuel de Champlain explored this area in 1605, a few years before the Popham Colony was started. This colony did not succeed due to harsh weather and poor leadership, however these early colonists did build the first seagoing vessel constructed in the New World called Virginia of Sagadahoc. Most of the settlers in Bath, Maine, came from Bath, England.

Bath, Maine continues to be best known for shipbuilding, which began in 1743 and continues today at Bath Iron Works among others.

Ornaments Home and GardenAs you cross the bridge into the town of Bath, scan the skyline for the beautiful old sea captains’ houses with their widows’ walks and the elegant church steeples. A picture perfect New England seaport!

Bath’s Main Street is one-way and full of interesting shops. Here are three places I like to visit, but be sure to poke down the side streets of Bath as well.

Ornaments Home and Garden Store is a fun shop selling both new and vintage accessories. Owner, Gail Hunt, has a definite flair for design and decor as you will notice when you enter. Enjoy!!

MarkingsGalleryThe Markings Gallery has fine local art and crafts in metal, clay, fiber, paper, glass, paint, stone and wood. The artists who contribute to this gallery do very high quality and creative work. It is very difficult to leave without finding something you must have!

Now You’re Cooking – A Cook’s Emporium is a wonderful cooking store for all types of cooks. You will enjoy the store even if you do not like to cook. A great place to buy gifts! They carry everything you might want for your kitchen and more. Cooking Classes are also offered.

If you like to knit, crochet, weave or felt do not miss Halcyon Yarn. Delicious yarns in an amazing variety of colors, fibers and textures that are difficult to resist. The staff is very helpful.

mmmfrontThe Maine Maritime Museum has an amazing collection of over 21,000 artifacts and over 140 small craft showing Maine’s Maritime Heritage. A variety of cruises along the Kennebec River range from 1-6 hours. Wildlife, lighthouses and the shipyard are part of these tours. Many photo moments await you.

Bath Iron Works Trolley Tours describe the history of the shipyard which builds the Navy’s most advanced warships. The tours are M W F @ 12 and 2, T Th @2 and Sat @10. f you are in the area when a ship is being launched it is a great sight to see.

Dining in Bath:
Mae’s Cafe at 160 Centre Street has an amazing range of breakfast items served all day in addition to tasty lunch offerings of soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and much more. heir bakery will definitely fill your sweet tooth.

Solo Bistro at 128 Front Street is a divine place for dinner – a culinary delight with great ambiance. inner is served at 5 Wednesday through Sunday – closed on Monday and Tuesday. Friday nights they have live Jazz 6:30-9:30 P.M.

Kennebec Tavern at 19 Commercial Street is a waterfront Restaurant and Bar. Watch the boats on the river as you dine. They offer a large variety of seafood dishes in a casual waterfront 5_innatmosphere.

Enjoy your day in Bath. There are so many things to see and learn about in the town, a great short day trip from Ocean Point Inn.

See more Ocean Point Inn things to do in the area including visiting Camden and Rockland and a boat ride to Monhegan Island and other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, and Boothbay Harbor.

Monhegan IslandAnother favorite day trip of ours from Ocean Point Inn is to head for the tranquility of Monhegan Island.  This tiny island, twelve miles out to sea, is less than one square mile in area. The island has no paved roads and no cars, just wonderful walking trails that lead you to amazing vistas.

monhegan-inn-viewAs you walk through the woods watch for the Fairy Houses. Stop to build one of your own from natural bits and pieces and see how creative you can be!

Browse the shops and galleries. The Black Duck Emporium has great gifts, espresso drinks and home baked treats.  The Lupine Gallery features Monhegan Artists. Winter Works is a cooperative shop of creative items made by the Island’s winter residents. The Barnacle also has a few gifts as well as sandwiches, soups and pastries.

Monhegan Island Fish House MarketFor lunch, I often get a crab roll at the Fish House Fish Market and eat it on the rocks at Fish Beach.  After lunch, I like to look for sea glass and shells on the beach.  You can bring your own lunch and enjoy eating at one of the many vistas on the highest cliffs in Maine.

Monhegan Island LighthouseWalk up the hill to the lighthouse where you can sit and enjoy the view.  Keep your eyes peeled for whales, seals, birds and wild flowers.  Sometimes along the path from the dock, artists will be selling their crafts.  Note the lovely cottage styles as you walk around the island and try to imagine what it must be like here during a blizzard in January!
boat-tour
The Balmy Days II sails to Monhegan daily in season from Boothbay Harbor.  The ride out and back is beautiful in itself.  Capt. Bill Campbell will point out whales, seals, birds and other marine life as you go by the rugged coastline and outer islands.

Rams Head LightAfter leaving the harbor you will pass Ocean Point on your left and then the Ram Island Lighthouse on the right.  Next on the left will be the Pemaquid Lighthouse perched on the seaside cliffs.

What started out as a tiny spot on the horizon starts to look much larger.  Before you know it you are pulling into the dock at Monhegan Island.monhegan-island-color

Balmy Days offers an optional ride around the island for an additional fee.  You can make your reservation for the Balmy Days by calling 207-633-2284 or 800-298-2284.  Monhegan Island is a place that evokes fond memories and I bet you will want to return!

See more Ocean Point Inn things to do in the area including visiting Camden and Rockland and other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, and Boothbay Harbor.

Rockland Shops - Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

Photo Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

Having settled into life at Ocean Point Inn, I am ready to call a friend and say, “Let’s do a day trip!”  Of course, my first day trip of the season must be my favorite…..Seagull Cottage here I come!

Head out of Boothbay Harbor to Route 1 and “down east” toward Rockland.  As you drive through Waldoboro note Moody’s Diner, an old Maine tradition, on the right with the best homemade pies imaginable.  As you drive through Thomaston enjoy the beautiful old sea captains’ houses with the unique Widow Walks.  The Maine Prison Store on the right in Thomaston has nice gifts made by the prisoners – really!

rockland shop Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

Photo Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

In Rockland, my first stop is the Seagull Cottage which is a dream of  coastal decor.  You can walk through the store several times and still not “sea” everything.

Then I cross the street to the Island Institute Shop that sells beautifully made crafts by people living on Maine Islands. Close by is the Grasshopper shop for clothes and kitchen ware.

If time permits, the Farnsworth Museum is a must.  I never tire of the Wyeth work.  Before leaving Rockland, stroll down along the waterfront and see what Windjammers are in port that day.

From Rockland continue on Route 1 to Camden.  The homes in both Rockland and Camden are excellent examples of old Maine coastal architecture.  Seaside gardens explode with colorful flowers.

A walk along the waterfront will show you boats in port that day.  Camden’s main street is full of interesting shops with something to please everyone.

Mt Battie View Camden - Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

Photo Courtesy www.VisitMaine.net

There are too many choices for lunch in Camden to list them.  I often just pick one I have not been to before or get something to go and head for Mt. Battie. The views from the top of the mountain down into Camden and over Penobscot Bay to Vinalhaven Island are simply spectacular!.  This is a wonderful place to have a picnic and walk around.  Be sure to bring your camera.

One suggestion for lunch is the 3Dog Cafe in Camden – great sandwiches.  There are many places specializing in seafood if that is your desire.  The choices are endless and up to you!

camden-harbor-sailboatHere’s hoping you enjoy this day trip as much as I do.  If you have questions, stop by the Ocean Point Inn Front Desk and see me before you go.  See our Favorite Things to Do List, including the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, The Maine State Aquarium and boat charters from Boothbay Harbor.

Remember, you may order a Box Lunch at Ocean Point Inn the night before if you have a trip like this planned. See more Ocean Point Inn things to do in the area including a boat ride to Monhegan Island and other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, and Boothbay Harbor.

flowers-ocean-point-innThe past few weeks I have been transitioning from winter in the Bahamas to summer at Ocean Point Inn – trading crystal clear aqua seas for sparkling deep blue waters off the rocky coast of Maine. Both locations are little slices of paradise that I am fortunate to enjoy.  However, Ocean Point is “home!”

Spring comes slowly to Ocean Point but the trees are finally budding and flowers are popping open.  The osprey are building nests and the ducks are laying eggs.

air2_800Ocean Point Inn is bustling with activity.  New gardens have been created and all the landscaping has had a spring spruce up.  Painting as well as siding and new windows have been added to some buildings.  The Penthouse is getting a lovely new kitchen. Some Lodge rooms are getting new carpeting and window shades and Hatchard House rooms new entry flooring. The living room in the Main Inn is being totally redecorated.  It is very exciting to see this wonderful transition in decor.

Most of the Jamaican workers started work on Tuesday.  Dennis, Johnny, Frank, Patricia, Ronnie and Wayne are working away every day.  The water and heat came on in the Main Inn yesterday so I hope to be back in my office starting today.

breakfast-buffet-full-hb4Every guest will receive Ocean Point’s Hot Buffet Breakfast this year starting on June 13th.  We are discontinuing the Continental Breakfast after June 12th.  The many, many guests I have talked with over the winter seem delighted with this change.

Another change for this season that guests seem very happy about is food being served in Ocean Point’s Dining Room starting on opening day, May 22, 2015.  It will be a minimal menu until June 12th.  The full dining room menu will be offered every night this season and the Bar will be opening at 4 P.M.  The “Tavern Nights” will be discontinued.

breakfast-buffet-full-french-toastJim LaValle will be doing the breakfasts with all of his delicious surprises!  He will also be entertaining one evening a week.

The Gift Shop has lots of new creative handmade surprises as well as the very popular repeat items.  Many crafts are produced from local beach walks.

I am very excited about the opening of the 117th year at the Ocean Point Inn.  The location of the Inn is spectacular, the staff are extremely friendly and helpful and the food is delicious – a winning combination.  Join us this summer and let us show you why some of our guests have been coming to this special place on the coast of Maine for over 50 years.

9_lobsterWhen the first settlers arrived in North America there were so many lobsters they would wash ashore and pile up two feet deep. They were considered “poor man’s protein.”

Native Americans used lobsters for fertilizer and fish bait. They baked them under seaweed over hot rocks, thus starting the New England Clambakes we enjoy today.

In the beginning lobsters were gathered by hand. In the late 1700s boats called smacks with saltwater tanks were used to tralobsternsport live lobsters. The men who ran these boats were called “smackmen.” In the mid-19th century lobster traps were first used in Maine.

Lobster were so inexpensive they were fed to prisoners, apprentices, slaves and children during colonial times. These people became tired of being fed lobster!

The first lobster pound started in 1876 in Vinalhaven, Maine. By the 1880s lobster became popular in Boston and New York and the prices started to rise.

American lobster, or Maine lobster, can weigh more than 40 pounds and be up to 3 feet long. The largest lobster on record was caught off Nova Scotia and believed to have been over 100 years old. It weighed 44 pound and was 42 inches long.

The lobster stands out for its unusual anatomy. Its brain is located in its throat, nervous system in its abdomen, teeth in its stomach and kidneys in its head! Lobsters hear with their legs and taste with their feet. They can be right-clawed or left-clawed and favor that claw.

If crowded into tanks they become cannibalistic and eat each other. Their claws need to be banded to prevent this situation.

Lobsters are a very healthy food with fewer calories than an !lobster-thumb1equal portion of skinned chicken. They offer healthy omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and vitamins E, B-12 and B-6. Maine Lobster is on or menu nightly at Ocean Point served many delicious ways from our famous Lobster Stew, to Linekin Bay Stuffed Lobster.

What amazing creatures they are

sequin-island-lighthouse4The Seguin Lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington in 1795. It is Maine’s tallest and second oldest light station, a short boat ride from Ocean Point Inn. For more than two centuries this lighthouse has been a very important guide to ships on the Maine coast and entering the Kennebec River. Even earlier in 1607 the English settlers of the Popham Colony anchored at the island before landing on the mainland.

Samuel de Champlain sailed past Seguin in 1612 and thought the island looked like a giant tortoise. The word Seguin is said to be from an Indian word that means “where the sea vomits.” Others claim it is from an Indian word that means hump.

seguin_islandIn February of 1794 ten acres of land was ceded to the Federal Government from the state of Massachusetts as Maine was then part of Massachusetts. In 1796 Major John Polereczky, a Hungarian Hussar and count who was born in France, was appointed the first keeper at a salary of $200.00 per year. He served for eight years, twice requesting a raise and both times being denied.

sequin-island-lighthouse7A fog bell was added in 1837 and an automatic striking machine was added in 1854. In 1857 a new tower was constructed and Fresnel lens were installed.

Over a 31 year time the island was foggy 15% of the time. In 1907 a record was set for fogginess. 2,374 hours or 31% of the year was foggy.

Like many lighthouses in Maine near Ocean Point Inn, Seguin Island has lots of ghost stories. Keepers told of furniture moving by itself and doors shutting on their own. One tale involves a 19tth century keeper’s wife who played the same tune over and over on the piano. The keeper was eventually driven insane and he destroyed the piano with an axe, then killed his wife and himself. Legend says the tune can be heard drifting from the island on a calm night.

Seguin Island is 2.5 miles off the mouth of the Kennebec River near Popham Beach State Park. Take a tour of the tower and relive the memorisequin-island-lighthouse3es. Below are boats which will take you to the island. A great day trip!

Seguin Island Ferry Popham, Maine (207) 841-7977
Atlantic Seal Cruises Freeport, Maine (207)865-6112
River Run Tours Bath, Maine (207)504-2628
HalVal Charters Boothbay Harbor, Maine (207)3198123

pemaquid-light-rocks6The tower and keeper’s house were constructed in 1827 but neither lasted very long. This may have been because the builder used salt water to mix the lime mortar. The second tower, built using only fresh water, was completed in 1835. A new wooden frame keeper’s house was added in 1857. The tower was upgraded with a Fresnal lamp at about the same time. The same lampemaquid-lighthousep is being used today and can been seen as far away as 14 nautical miles.

At first the beacon was lighted by whale oil and then by kerosene. The other brick building was the bell house. When fog was first sighted, the keeper would ring the bell by hand. Later a system using weights was installed.

pemaquid-light5Eventually electricity was added and the beacon was automated in 1934. No longer was a keeper living on the island necessary.

In 1940 the Coast Guard transferred the 7 acre site to the Town of Bristol, everything but the tower. The lighthouse is now part of the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park and many people visit it in the summer

lighthouse_ramshead2Ram Island Light is located in Fisherman’s Passage off Ocean Point at the entrance to Boothbay Harbor. Back in the mid-19th century a fisherman began hanging a lantern. This tradition was passed on for many years from one fisherman to another.

During the period when there were no lights, the local people told of ghosts warning the ships off the dangerous rocks. One such tale is of a sailor approaching the rocks and seeing a woman waving a torch above her head. He turned just in time to avoid the rocks.lighthouse_ramshead_boat2

Ram Island was first lighted on November 5, 1883. The first keeper was Samuel Cavanor from Nova Scotia and he stayed until he died in 1913. He lived on the island with his wife and five children and the children went to school in Boothbay. Mr. Cavanor had a wooden leg as a result of an accident on a lighthouse tender.

Ram Island Light became automated in 1965 and last keeper was removed. In 1983 the building was going to be torn down. The Grand Banks Schooner Museum Trust saved the building. The Ram Island Preservation Society restored the house. In 2002 they restored the walkway to the light that had been destroyed many years before.

Ghost stories continuelighthouse_ramshead3e and some say on very dark nights the spector of a shipwreck victim can be seen wandering the island!! Visiting Ram Island Lighthouse is a great day trip while staying at Ocean Point Inn